The parable of the great banquet (Luke 14:15-24) can be a familiar experience for any Christian. We all feel that our homes, work and marriages can be so consuming that we cannot find room for God. Although it feels so justifiable to us, we learn from this story that it is very hurtful to God.
When we view God as commonplace, familiar and habitual, we allow life to choke out the power of his word and reject his invitations for a closer friendship.
How do you view God?
-What are 3 positive views of God that stimulate you to spend time with him?
-What are 3 negative views of God that discourage you from spending time with him?
Clearing Out the Clutter
O God, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this generous spirit alive forever in these people always, keep their hearts set firmly in you. And give my son Solomon an uncluttered and focused heart so that he can obey what you command, live by your directions and counsel, and carry through with building The Temple for which I have provided.
Although we can know we need to spend time with God to have a vibrant relationship with him, our hearts can become so cluttered with thoughts, feelings and sins that there is no room for him.
Often times, we forget that spending time with God is reflective of how we feel about him, not whether we are measuring up to a religious rule.
-What does your response to God wanting to spend time with you reflect about how you feel about God?
-What are the excuses you make to not make time for your relationship with God?
In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always prosperous; he is haughty and your laws are far from him; he sneers at all his enemies. He says to himself, “Nothing will shake me; I’ll always be happy and never have trouble.
The sin that takes up the most space in our hearts and pushes God out is our pride. Which forms of pride push God out?
- Depressed Pride –Proverbs 11:12
– The consumption with feeling inadequate in the eyes of men, which leads you to not ask for help and/or expose areas that you need help.
- Disillusioned Pride – Obadiah 3
–The unwillingness to look at truth, because you fear that you will lose your confidence.
- Immature Pride – Proverbs 21:25
–The belief that the rules of life don’t really apply to you. That you can blow off God and nothing will happen.
- Talented Pride – 2 Chronicles 26:15-16
–Deriving all of your confidence from the talents God has given you, yet not giving him the credit.
- Stubborn Pride – Leviticus 26:19-20
–The resistance to respond to challenging life circumstances by relying deeper on God. You spend more time trying to figure out humanistic solutions, rather than drawing strength from God.
- Ungrateful Pride –2 Chronicles 32:24-26
– So focused on negative circumstances that you miss the good that God is doing in your life.
- Quarrelsome Pride – Proverbs 13:10
–Spending your time with God either validating what you already believe, or building arguments against those you disagree with.
- Willful Pride – Isaiah 10:12
–Understanding what God wants you to do, and making deliberate decisions to harden, ignore or disobey God’s will.
- Characterless Pride –Ecclesiastes 7:8, 2 Chronicles 32:25-27
– Living by emotion, rather than having the character to follow through on things you commit to.
To make room for God we must repent of pride. How can you set your day up to make sure that god is influencing you?
- Memorizing scriptures
- Putting scriptures on your phone to alert you at certain times of the day
- Praying with your spouse or roommates at night
- Making a goal to complete a book of the Bible in a specified amount of time
- Make an action list after your prayer of ways that you will obey God’s will
- Asking for input on what you should study in your Bible
- Making a Bible study for someone else
- Committing to pray for something specific for 30 days straight